CHARLESTON, SC - Observances and re-enactments by North and South marked the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter and the beginning of America's. Civil War.
In Charleston, S.C., cannon batteries, a mortar salvo and a "star shell" were fired from Fort Johnson at 6:45 a.m. as a signal for re-enactors to relive the opening battle of a war still an open wound in the psyche of many American Southerners.
"This is one of the four pivotal events of U.S. history," said Mike Lussier, of Charleston, a member of the mortar crew who categorized the bombardment of Fort Sumter as having the same importance as July 4, 1776, Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.
"I think the sesquicentennial is an opportunity to look back at the past, remember it, take a look and see where have we gotten to, and by knowing your history, you won't repeat it," state Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, said.
The newspaper did not mention if any African-Americans attended the Charleston commemoration.
Meanwhile, in Hartford, Conn., a state whose 5,354 sons gave their lives to the war, Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission Co-chairman Matthew Warshauer addressed a small gathering, saying this upon hearing of Charleston's morning cannon-firing:
"We are the Northern response," Warshauer said.
Warshauer, a Central Connecticut State University professor and author of a book on Connecticut's role in the Civil War, introduced Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
"Let no one divide us," Malloy said. "Let us come together."
Then addressing seven batteries of weapons manned by Union and Confederate re-enactors on Bushnell Park, Malloy shouted:
"Gentlemen, man your guns!"